Starting a pop punk band out of your own garage with a motley crew of converse covered misfits may seem easy at first - just learn three guitar chords, write out some lyrics about "getting out of this small town" and how "mom and dad will never understand", make some between song fart jokes and take your shirt off for the encore. But there is one musical detail that is more difficult to pull off than the others: how do you sing like a pop punk star?
We all know what a pop punk voice roughly sounds like, all raspy with heavy emphasis on consonants and the occasional yelp, not to mention impossibly high pitched notes shot straight out of your nose. We all can probably do a half-decent impression of Tom Delonge spitting out the word "spiders" or Billie Joe rhyming the word "time" and "whine". But getting that authentic pop punk sound takes work and skill. So, if you wanna be the next big thing on the Warped Tour, follow these instructions exactly on how to achieve the perfect voice fit for a frontman.
1) Don't shout!
Sounds obvious but when you are caught up in the middle of that Offspring cover you might resort to just blaring into the mic for extra volume. Don't - it'll sound awful and the heavy metal guys who do it professionally have their protective technique down. One bad Oli Sykes note and you could be silent for weeks.
2) Drink water, not just beer.
Water hydrates, beer dehydrates - which one do you think is going to have the better effect on your voice?
3) Do your warmups.
Maintaining vocal health is very important so always warm up before you dive into those big Brendon Urie notes. Breathing exercises are a good start, relaxing your body. Simple piano scales to oohs and aahs will protect the voice and, over time, allow you to push and see just how high you can go. Before long, you'll be out-soul voicing Patrick Stump. Some suggested warm ups are viewable here.
4) Use your head voice.
Yeah, we know, all voices technically come out of your head. But your "head voice" is a technique relying on the open space at the back of the throat and mouth in order to achieve higher, cleaner notes. It should feel free and easy without too much strain or effort, as opposed to "chest voice" which engages lower muscles and provides a fuller sound. Get the relevant info here.
5) Work that twang.
Twang is that bright, nasal-sounding technique that people like Tom Delonge throw on in spades. If you are American, you already have this down in your speaking voice. For the rest of the world, this dude here has you covered.
Obviously everyone you can add your own quirks into the mix but that's the basics covered.